Helpful Tips

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Be patient. This is a LONG disease. Remember, adhesive capsulitis is a disease, not a syndrome or a condition; it has a beginning, middle and END. Wherever you are in the cycle, you're moving toward the END. –

Educate yourself! There's lots of information on the internet about adhesive capsulitis, and many different ideas and approaches. Read everything you can. --

Be aware that the medical community does not agree about the best way to treat FS. One doctor may say, \"Do nothing, it will get better on its own.\" Another doctor might say, \"Let’s operate!\" One doctor might say, \"Start physical therapy right away.\" Another might say, \"PT won't help till you're in the thawing stage.\" You must educate yourself to know what is truly the best approach for YOU.

If you don't like your doctor or your physical therapist, change! Find caregivers who know this disease. Not all of them do! Don't let ANYONE rush you into anything. You have time to decide what's best for you. –

Get painkillers. If one kind doesn't work, try another. Don’t give up. There’s no reason to be in a lot of pain. There are lots of different kinds of painkillers, so work with your doctor until you find one that works for you.

Be assertive about your treatment choices. There are studies showing that FS eventually gets better no matter what you do or don't do, so make the choices yours. –

Slow down mentally and emotionally. Develop patience and serenity. Be kind to yourself. -- Slow down physically. Without the use of your arm, you don't have your usual physical balance, and you could get hurt if you try to maintain your usual pace. – Take lots of naps. Your whole body is ill, not just your shoulder.

Eat healthy food. Drink LOTS of water. Take vitamins.

Use cold packs and hot packs. They help. Frozen peas are great for icing -- you can thaw and refreeze them over and over. (Just don't get confused and eat them!)

Be sure you do your exercises, icing, and heat with the good shoulder as well as the bad -- it's getting an extra workout, and deserves to be pampered. -- But don't work your good shoulder TOO hard. Studies show that people who get FS in one shoulder are more likely to get it in the other shoulder later on.

Take baths -- long ones, as hot as you can stand. Immerse your shoulder. Play soothing music and light a scented candle. Use an inflatable bath pillow.

Sleep with lots of little pillows. Tuck them all around you. Experiment with the pillows till you find a comfortable arrangement. -- Have a favourite pillow. Tuck it under your arm when you sleep. Take it with you to the movies, or on car rides; use it to prop up your arm whenever you'll be sitting for a long time. -- Put a big pillow between yourself and your bedfellow so they don't roll over and bump into you. -- It's okay to sleep in the recliner for awhile.

-- Pamper yourself. Ask your loved ones to pamper you. -- Don't hesitate to remind your friends and colleagues that you have a problem. To them, you look normal and healthy.

-- Learn to ignore housecleaning, errands, dishes, cooking -- these things are not important. And if someone dares to complain... – Ask for help. It seems like strong, active people are prone to this disease -- and strong, active people are not so good at asking for help. Learn to ask. -- Show your spouse and children how to help you with your coat, how to open doors for you, how to carry groceries, how to cook and clean... What a great opportunity to teach them new skills! –

Rearrange workspaces so that things are easier to reach. BBQ tongs are great for reaching. Use a stool. But be careful! With only one arm, your balance is impaired.

-- Get yourself a good one-handed haircut, something that doesn't require blow-drying or extra fuss. -- Consider buying a free-standing hairdryer stand, “as seen on TV”.

-- When dressing, always put the bad arm in its sleeve before the good arm. -- Forget the jeans, wear pull-ups or sweatpants. -- Find a bra that clips in the front. Or try this: put your bra on around your waist, back to front. Clip it with the clip in front of you, and then rotate the clip around to the back. Then slide the bra up, slip the arm straps up over your shoulders, and voila! Better yet, you may find a sports bra is easier to put on. And if this still doesn’t work, or is too painful… -- No one will notice if you go without a bra. Camisoles are also great! -- For a bathing suit, a tankini is an excellent choice.

Having a hard time washing under your arms? Try holding a washcloth in plastic salad tongs. Tongs are also good for applying deodorant. Deodorant not working well? Try baby powder. -- After bathing, if you have trouble drying under your arm, use a blowdryer set on \"cool\". -- Ladies, to shave under your arm, try the \"Finishing Touch\" razor. It's battery operated and about the size of a ballpoint pen. It really gets into tight places! -- Use a wallet instead of a purse. Fanny packs are also great. -- Slip-on shoes make things easier. You can also try a long shoehorn. -- Get your medication in a flip-off lid.

Watch your posture during everyday activities. Slouching makes things worse. -- Stay active in other ways. Walking (if you can) is especially good. -- Try massage therapy. Lots of FS sufferers swear by it.

Remember that there will be good days and bad days, but eventually, slowly, it WILL get better. Adhesive Capsulitis is NOT PERMANENT. -- Keep a journal to record your progress. -- Log onto this site and tell others how you’re doing. It’s a long road to healing, but it'll seem shorter if if you don’t travel it alone. -- Everyone's FS journey is different. If you share your experience, it might help someone else. So share. -- Every time you make the smallest progress, give yourself a pat on the back. (Figuratively, not literally -- none of us here can contort that way!) -- Be positive. You will get well. These hints were provided by the wonderful contributors of the Shoulder1 forum for Frozen Shoulder. HANG IN THERE!

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45 Replies

  • Posted

    thank`s for shearing your helpful were discuses about vitamin it was a good experience for me. then i would suggest you Doctorshealthpress also helpful for health tips...
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  • Posted

    Thanks for your helpful tips, I have been suffering from FS following surgery for a stiff shoulder. I had a 'clear out' and was doing really well for the first 3 weeks until I accidently jarred my elbow, the pain was excrutiating. That was at the end of April and I've been in agony ever since. My physio and the surgeon have both diagnosed FS - I'm having physio once a week and it does help for a little while.

    I would love a decent night's sleep! I haven't had any uninterupted sleep for over 4 months and I'm knackered! I'm taking pain killers and anti-inflamatory but they don't seem to work for very long. I really hope this goes away soon as I could fall out with myself, it's very sore and making me very grumpy.

    I read the bit about staying positive and I try to do this but there are times when the pain just gets me down and reduces me to tears.

    I do hope this eases off soon, I'm at my whits end.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your comments Painful of Uckfield. I am now overjoyed to say that I am now completely pain free and enjoying life again. I still have some stiffness and am slightly limited in my movement, but slowly, slowly I did get better.

    So don't give up hope. Stay positve and look for the smallest signs of improvement. You will get better. I wish you well.

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much Frosty. You offer a no-nonsense approach to this very debilitating disease. I was feeling quite sorry for myself, but your message gave me the jolt I needed to get it all into focus. Surprising how much better I feel just applying some of your suggestions.

    Again, my thanks.


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  • Posted

    Hi Frosty

    i missed all these tips when I logged in first time. They're great!

    thank you for sharing.

    I'm now at the 1 year stage on my left shoulder and the 2 month stage on my right shoulder, so both thawing and freezing!  I've tried pretty much everything but now just learning to live with it alongside good pain medication, in my case 

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  • Posted

    I subscribe to everything that Frosty layed out here. Follow her/his advice and do seek the proper help, especially if this is your first one.
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  • Posted

    Thank you Frosty for your advice. I had Fs for 3 to 4 months but only being diagnosed last week. When the sharp pain first occurred, an ultra sound showed everything was normal. My usual GP on leave, I went to another clinic whom sent me away with pain killers that have no relief to the pain. I then went and see a physiotherapist who put this electronic thing on my shoulder (I believe is called Ten) followed with 3 min exercise of pulling. Each visit lasted for 25 min or less with no relief to the pain. I then moved on to massage who specified that they treat FS, it does reduced some of the pain during the day but night time after sleeping sitting up, the pain will woke me up after I some how finding myself lying flat!

    The lack of good sleep is tormenting, I agree with my GP to go for cortisone injection, had that 9 hours ago. The Procedure feels horrible because I can feel the fluid near the end of the injection and it feel like a vein in my shoulder is going to explode! However, many people said they only feel normal vaccination pain. About 5 hours ago my face and arms started feeling tingling, the sensation seems to subside a bit now. Hopefully it will do some good. Should update later, hopefully after a bit of good night sleep 😊

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    • Posted

      Just over a week since my 1st cortisone injection, it reduced the pain by 50%. However, my arm movements still restricted. My doctor advice me to take a 2nd injection end of next month. I am scared after the first experience, am still pondering. At least I can now have some sleep since the pain sort of control by Panadol, heat pack or heat gel. I'm glad that frosty described the full cycle and especially sleep sitting up. I now preferred to sleep on a 3 seater sofa and have my arm supported by the back rest. Came morning, the pain was much less compared to sleep on a bed. I also found that as soon as I am awake do some stretches actually delayed the next on set of pain.
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